Books to Read After Running

by Mark Mindel and Sally Drake

Courting Trouble (Rosato & Associates, #7)  by Lisa Scottoline 

My first peek at Rosato and Associates. New lawyer Anne Murphy has moved to Philadelphia from California to escape her past. She had been stalked and almost killed by a guy, Kevin, who was finally caught and put in jail. Anne is working a harassment case, defending her client from what she feels is a false claim. It's the Fourth of July weekend and her one friend says she will babysit her cat, Mel, for the weekend while Anne prepares her case in private at the Jersey Shore. However, her friend is murdered in Anne's home in a case of mistaken identity. When Anne discovers that Kevin had escaped from prison, she assumes he came to finish her off. Through many twists and turns, Anne eventually confronts Kevin and it leads to a wild and unexpected climax. Hold on to your hats!

Daddy's Girl by Lisa Scottoline 

A former trial lawyer and U of Pennsylvania law teacher, Lisa Scottoline, really delivers here with a first-rate suspense novel centered around a law professor, who teaches at, you guessed it, U of P! Natalie (Nat) Greco is the only daughter of powerful construction boss John Greco, whose three rough-house boys are proud Eagle, 76'ers and Philly fans, and tend to dominate the Greco home. Even Nat's boyfriend, Hank, seems to enjoy hanging out with the Grecos more than spending time alone with Nat. Nat becomes involved with another law professor, Angus Holt, who brings her to guest lecture at his "class" at the Chester County Correctional Institute. However, a riot breaks out at the prison and Nat and Angus are injured amidst the chaos. Nat gets separated from Angus and finds a prisoner dead and a Corrections Officer dying. The C.O. whispers dying words to Nat to tell his wife. From there, the story progresses on a thrilling chase of the truth. Nat is on the run as she is framed for several crimes and not only has to prove her innocence but stop the real criminals. Top level suspense.

You've Been Warned by James Patterson

JP teams up with Howard Roughan to create a novel of suspense, intrigue, and eeriness! Stephen King - like in its bizarre mix of reality and fantasy as our heroine Kristin Burns, a young photographer in NYC keeps reliving the same dream...and it's a nightmare. One in which she sees 4 murdered victims in body bags outside a rich hotel in Manhattan. Kristin works by day as a nanny for cute kids Dakota and Sean (their parents are uber-rich Fund manager Michael and his prickly wife Penley (the Pencil, because she's so thin from working out). At night Kristin carries on a lurid affair with a married guessed it! Michael! Things come to a head as Michael, Penley, HER lover Stephen, and Kristin all meet in the hotel of her dreams....Stay tuned for what happens then!

Hidden Valley Road by Robert Kolker

This is not a light and cheerful read but it is a brilliant and compulsively readable account of a large  mid-century American family devastated by mental illness, its role in how modern psychiatry understands and treats schizophrenia, and how people recover from deep family trauma. Masterfully written with a reporter’s attention to detail but also with a profound empathy, this is just a stunning book. I’ll never forget it.

Wow, No Thank You by Samantha Irby

This is a hilarious and poignant collection of essays from comedian Samantha Irby.  Raw, smart, authentic and charming, the essays explore marriage, health, aging and work. Irby is self-deprecating and vulnerable, making her wise and insightful without an ounce of ego or pretense as she explores life’s journey, from the mundane to the traumatic.

It’s Not All Downhill from Here by Terry McMillan

I’ve been reading Terry McMillan novels since Stella Got Her Groove Back published in 1996. This is yet another great one--a big-hearted, smart and funny story about a group of female friends in California navigating aging and loss. This story follows Loretha Curry who at 68 experiences a sudden, sad loss and has to contend with what that means for the rest of her life. The novel follows her over the next year as she and her group of friends navigate this grief.  If you like novels about female friendships and complicated families, you’ll love this one.

Perfect Tunes by Emily Gould

Another beautiful novel about friendship and family. This one follows Laura as she starts a life in New York City’s music scene in the late 1990s, including a short-lived and dramatic relationship with a troubled rock star that has ramifications for the rest of her life. The second part of the book is about Laura and her daughter, exploring the fraught mother-daughter dynamic, the impact of dreams deferred and the rippling effects of youthful indiscretion. This is a very character driven novel with a pitch-perfect narrative style that moves quickly and smoothly with poignant, relatable insight.

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